Impeachment of waste

Source: Lely, J.M. Woodfall's Law of Landlord and Tenant. London: Henry Sweet et al, 1881.

  A tenant for life "without impeachment of waste" has as full power to cut down trees and open new mines, for his own use, as if he had an estate of inheritance; and is in the same manner entitled to the timber if severed by others. He may sell and assign to a purchaser all the timber and timberlike trees, which will include the thinnings to be selected by the purchaser. But the words "without impeachment of waste" will not permit a tenant for life to unlead a house and pull down the tiles. The intention of the clause "without impeachment of waste" is to enable the tenant to do many things––such as opening new mines––which would at common law amount to waste; but it does not authorize such destructive waste as cutting down ornamental timber. The  privilege thus given by the words "without impeachment of waste" is annexed to the privity of estate; so that if the person to whom that privilege is given changes his estate, he loses the privilege. But while his estate continues he may by lease or licence authorize others to do whatever he is entitled to do himself.

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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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